Health care in the United States

Health care in the United States

Health care in the United States is provided by many distinct organizations. Health care facilities are largely owned and operated by private sector businesses. 58% of US community hospitals are non-profit, 21% are government owned, and 21% are for-profit. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States spent $9,403 on health care per capita, and 17.1% on health care as percentage of its GDP in 2014. Healthcare coverage is provided through a combination of private health insurance and public health coverage (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid). The United States does not have a universal healthcare program (e.g., at least some individuals do not have health insurance or coverage), unlike some comparable nations.
In 2013, 64% of health spending was paid for by the government, and funded via programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program, and the Veterans Health Administration. People aged under 65 acquire insurance via their or a family member's employer, by purchasing health insurance on their own, or are uninsured. Health insurance for public sector employees is primarily provided by the government in its role as employer.
The United States life expectancy is 78.6 years at birth, up from 75.2 years in 1990; this ranks 42nd among 224 nations, and 22nd out of the 35 industrialized OECD countries, down from 20th in 1990. In 2016 and 2017 life expectancy in the U.S. dropped for the first time since 1993. Of 17 high-income countries studied by the National Institutes of Health, the United States in 2013 had the highest or near-highest prevalence of obesity, car accidents, infant mortality, heart and lung disease, sexually transmitted infections, adolescent pregnancies, injuries, and homicides. A 2014 survey of the healthcare systems of 11 developed countries found that the US healthcare system to be the most expensive and worst-performing in terms of health access, efficiency, and equity.
Prohibitively high cost is the primary reason Americans have problems accessing health care. Consulting company Gallup recorded that the uninsured rate among U.S. adults was 11.9% for the first quarter of 2015, continuing the decline of the uninsured rate outset by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). At over 27 million, higher than the entire population of Australia, the number of people without health insurance coverage in the United States is one of the primary concerns raised by advocates of health care reform. Lack of health insurance is associated with increased mortality, about sixty thousand preventable deaths per year, depending on the study. A study done at Harvard Medical School with Cambridge Health Alliance showed that nearly 45,000 annual deaths are associated with a lack of patient health insurance. The study also found that uninsured, working Americans have an approximately 40% higher mortality risk compared to privately insured working Americans.
In 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) became law, enacting major changes in health insurance. The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of most of the law in June 2012 and affirmed insurance exchange subsidies in all states in June 2015.
The United States is within the Region of the Americas or AMRO (a World Health Organization classification). Within AMRO, the U.S. had the third lowest under-five child mortality rate (U5MR) in 2015. In 2015, the under-five child mortality rate was 6.5 deaths per 1000 live births, less than half the regional average of 14.7. The U.S. had the second lowest maternal mortality in AMRO, 14 per 100,000 live births, well below the regional average of 52. Life expectancy at birth for a child born in the U.S. in 2015 is 81.2 (females) or 76.3 (males) years,compared to 79.9 (females) or 74 (males) years (AMRO regional estimates). Globally, average life expectancy is 73.8 for females and 69.1 for males born in 2015.

 


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Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality 540 Gaither Road Rockville. Data Sources for the At-Risk Community-Dwelling Patient Population